When I put my computer down yesterday after writing my post, I had that nagging feeling of “I’m not done yet.” That there is so much more to write, to talk about, to know when it comes to this mysterious thing we call the soul.
We are all born with one, but we barely understand anything about it. We can’t see it so we can easily ignore it.
But the truth is, the soul WON’T be ignored.
As John Ortberg says, “It is the nature of the soul to need”.
It’s designed to need. To sense a void that is limitless.
And it will let us know.
When I was a little girl, my parents tell me that watching Christmas specials on t.v. was always a bit of an ordeal. The Little Drummer Boy was my very favorite. And it ruined me every year.
Every single time I watched it, I would be in tears afterwards. I wanted the story to go on. It couldn’t end there! It was just getting so good! I had fallen in love with those adorable little clay characters and couldn’t imagine that I wouldn’t see them again for another year. (I think, secretly, I had a mad crush on that little drummer, and wanted him to grow up so I could marry him. 🙂 Hey, he was cute and had a great heart! )
Every year, the same show, the same response.
I wanted more and that show would always be so appealing, but never enough for me. Each time I would sit in front of that black and white t.v., in my footie pajamas with those big pink curlers in my hair and hope that this time I would be satisfied with the 30 minutes it offered me.
My longing was too big for that limited holiday show, no matter how good it was.
A soul is like that.
The longing is vast. We desperately try to feed it with what we can see, hear, touch, smell, taste. We go back again and again to the same things thinking this will be the time that we will be satisfied completely.
But the soul has a voracious appetite that can’t be satisfied with anything that has limits.
It is its nature to need something eternal.
That eliminates everything temporary that we assume will satiate our soul’s palate – money, success, food, material things, fame, hobbies, habits.
There is only one thing that doesn’t come up short.
It seems like human love would be enough, but the soul’s need is so vast that no person’s affection could completely fill that void. We are limited and imperfect sources of love.
No, the soul wants the never-ending SOURCE OF THAT LOVE.
The soul can only be satiated by something as limitless as itself.
God is that something.
God is that LOVE.
He is our soul’s mate.
Anything less will leave the soul hungry and thirsty. Longing. Unsatisfied. Aching.
We can go back and try again and again to try and make our soul believe that pleasure or wealth or career or relationship will be enough to dull the pain of emptiness. And it might work for a while.
But the soul knows better.
It will be that constant deep and hungry growling inside. It will resemble anxiety, depression, restlessness, addictive behavior, anger, fear, self-consumed thoughts, fatigue. A myriad of things that will leave us wanting something more.
This is what happens when the soul is slowly starving on a diet of tasty junk food.
And until we let it taste the LOVE of God Himself, to savor something that will fill every minute space of that eternal void within us, its hunger will gnaw at us from the inside out.
The soul will waste away or become ill with want, screaming until it loses its voice on us.
Will we let God deeply satisfy our souls or learn to live with the hunger that threatens to eat away at our very core?
Now back to The Little Drummer Boy (It will always come back to him for me :-))….
Do you remember his story?
After all these years I decided to watch it just now to simply take a stroll down memory lane.
But what I noticed (aside from the rudimentary claymation of the late 60’s) was that even the little drummer boy’s story is one of a broken and lost soul, an orphan who has been so wounded that his demeanor changes into one of hatred. He has nothing but a drum, the prize possession that was a gift from his late father. After being kidnapped and controlled by a manipulative man who used and abused him for his own gain, he lost his love of playing that drum. Eventually, he frees himself from his captor and heads across the desert in search of someone who can help him.
Not even knowing exactly what he is looking for, he is drawn, through curiosity to a star in the sky that shines brighter than all the others. He follows its light and ends up at the manger where someone tells him that the baby he sees is a king.
He has nothing to offer but his drum. The only possession he had, the only thing he knew how to do. He let down his angry guard in the presence of Jesus and played for him.
His soul healed when he gave everything he had to Jesus. His life was changed. His perspective transformed. His demeanor lightened.
Jesus had saved his soul.
That little drummer boy’s soul was starving in its battered state. The light of Jesus drew him and the heart of Jesus filled that empty, hungry void.
And yes, I am just as surprised by this analogy as you are. (You can watch the childhood show on Youtube. The symbolism is uncanny and was a sweet treat of perfect timing. 🙂 )
How is your soul?
– – What do you find yourself dreaming would be the answer to your soul’s hunger? More of _________?
– – What do you find yourself going back to again and again hoping to be satisfied “this time”?
– – What do you run to when you feel that gnaw of soul hunger inside of you?
– – What are you asking God for that really only He is the answer to?
Psalm 84:2 – I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.
Psalm 43:5 – Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Psalm 23:3 – He restores my soul…
Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.